Our Son: Dairy-Free and Healthy in Wisconsin

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Anonymous ~ We have such a long story.  I'm going to try to just give the highlights.  The story is about our 12-year-old son, Eddie, and I definately think it's worth telling. 

Eddie was weaned when he was 6 months old.  That is the exact time we started experiencing a variety of health issues.  He had chronic ear infections, strep throat, rashes, constipation and a distended belly. I vaguely remember a doctor mentioning dairy at the time, but I dismissed the notion.  It sounded like a lot of work, and possibly something a young Wisconsin mom shouldn't even consider.

Fast forward 6 years and Eddie is now diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  We battled this ridiculous disease for years.  He missed more school than he attended …

When we reached the end of what the Doctors could do for us we were referred to an incredible naturopath.  She got Eddie back on his feet.  He was back to school, but still had a lot of digestive issues.  I assumed this was part of the Lyme Disease.

We took Eddie in to see our naturopath at the start of his 7th grade wrestling season.  Our naturopath had asked us to bring him in when he was feeling relatively well so she could make comparisons. 

Well, she said that she could see he was doing a lot better, but she still was seeing a lot of digestive issues.  These issues were having some effect on his heart.  His adrenal glands were also showing signs of weakness.  She told us it was time to try cutting out dairy completely for one month.  She recommended we do this as a family (My husband and I, our other son and daughter).  She had suspected Dairy all along, but there were so many issues to address it was a lower priority, plus she may have sensed my resistance.

Because this woman has totally gained my trust, I decided this was worth doing.  Well, it turns out that no one in our family has an issue with dairy…except Eddie.   We now know that he is extremely allergic to dairy.  He has accidentally eaten dairy two times since he went off.  Both times he missed two days of school.  He was throwing up, sharp cramps and dark circles under his eyes.

While I hate myself for not making this connection before, I am so incredibly grateful to have this information now.  This has compromised his health almost his whole life.   His body had learned to deal with it somehow, but I can only imagine what the long-term effects would be if we hadn't discovered it when we did.

Eddie is NOT excited about going non-dairy.  He's always been proud of the fact that he likes to try different things and he'll eat whatever is put in front of him.  I think the idea of having restrictions on food is a bit of a depressing thought for him.

At the same time, he told me last week that he feels better than he's ever felt in his life.  His athletic peformance is also a level above what it was before going non-dairy.  I think these facts are giving him a better attitude. 

I wanted to tell this story because of that one part where I say I hate myself.  It's not hate really, but just a heavy load of guilt.  If I can help someone else figure things out sooner than we did, then that will feel good.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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